Saturday 11 May 2024

Movie Review: Point Break (1991)

Genre: Crime Thriller  
Director: Kathryn Bigelow  
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey, Lori Petty  
Running Time: 122 minutes  

Synopsis: In Los Angeles, rookie FBI Agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is partnered with veteran Agent Angelo Pappas (Gary Busey) and tasked to investigate bank robberies committed by men wearing masks of ex-US Presidents. Pursuing clues suggesting the criminals may be surfers, Johnny goes undercover and meets Tyler (Lori Petty), who teaches him to surf and becomes his lover. Johnny's suspicions eventually centre on legendary surfer Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), who leads a group of friends pursuing the easy life.

What Works Well: This is a bold, loud, and larger-than-life thriller, sacrificing plot coherence for the spectacle of brash men embracing insane risks. Not satisfied with tackling monstrous waves, director Kathryn Bigelow takes long detours to a couple of skydiving highlights, and finds time for one unrelated gang shoot-out, several bank robberies, and a few high energy chases. Donald Peterman's expansive cinematography enhances the breathless action, and while Reeves and Swayze never really have to act, they do ride the thrill waves with alpha male authority.

What Does Not Work As Well: After some early perfunctory police work, any pretense of a disciplined investigation is jettisoned in favour of Johnny and Bodhi circling each other like a couple of territorial bulls in the wild. The action diverges from logic at an alarming pace, and the uniformly humorless tone suggests protagonists unaware of their increasingly ridiculous context.

Conclusion: Boisterously bloated bravura. 

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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